Rapakivi granite


Rapakivi granite

Rapakivi granite is a hornblende-biotite granite containing large rounded crystals of orthoclase mantled with oligoclase. The name has come to be used most frequently as a textural term where it implies plagioclase rims around orthoclase in plutonic rocks. Rapakivi is Finnish for "crumbly rock", because the different heat expansion coefficients of the component minerals make exposed rapakivi crumbly.

Occurrence

Rapakivi is a fairly uncommon type of granite, but has been described from localities in North and South America, parts of the Baltic Shield, southern Greenland, southern Africa, India and China. Most of these examples are found within Proterozoic metamorphic belts, although both Archaean and Phanerozoic examples are known.

Formation

Rapakivi granites are often found associated with intrusions of anorthosite, norite, charnockite and mangerite. It has been suggested that the entire suite results from the fractional crystallization of a single parental magma . [ Zhang,S-H., Liu,S-W., Zhao,Y., Yang,J-H. Song,B. and Liu,X-M. The 1.75–1.68 Ga anorthosite-mangerite-alkali granitoid-rapakivi granite suite from the northern North China Craton: Magmatism related to a Paleoproterozoic orogen. Precambrian Research, 155, 287-312.]

Use as a building material

Rapakivi is the material used in Åland's Middle Age stone churches.

References


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